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CMS trims boost to hospital rates to 0.9%

By Sabriya Rice , Adam Rubenfire and Virgil Dickson  |  August 01, 2015

The CMS lowered its final increase for hospital rates in 2016 to a scant 0.9%, down from the 1.1% increase it proposed in April. The move will heighten pressure on the nation's 3,400 acute-care hospitals to rein in costs and reduce unnecessary spending.

CMS announces 0.9% hospital payment increase for 2016

CMS announces 0.9% hospital payment increase for 2016

By Sabriya Rice  |  July 31, 2015

The CMS lowered its final increase for hospitals rates in 2016 to a scant 0.9%, down from the 1.1% increase it proposed in April. The move will heighten pressure on the nation's 3,400 acute-care hospitals to rein in costs and reduce unnecessary spending.

CMS reduces pay bump for skilled-nursing facilities in fiscal '16

By Virgil Dickson  |  July 30, 2015

Skilled-nursing facilities will get a smaller rate increase than initially proposed by the CMS for fiscal 2016. The decrease is due to various changes in calculations including inflation predictions, according to a CMS spokesman.

Rural hospitals blast 'arcane' policies

By Shannon Muchmore  |  July 28, 2015

The 96-hour rule and a possible direct-supervision policy are a danger to critical-access hospitals, rural health leaders said at a congressional hearing Tuesday. They also suggested graduate medical education slots be more fairly allocated to help rural areas recruit providers.

Blog: Jeb Bush's Medicare comments revive debate over vouchers

Blog: Jeb Bush's Medicare comments revive debate over vouchers

By Harris Meyer and Shannon Muchmore  |  July 27, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush called last week for a “phase out” of Medicare, which he said is not fiscally sustainable. But his statement contradicted a recent report showing that the fiscal future of Medicare's hospital trust has improved.

Commentary: Expansion of Medicaid offers benefits far beyond improving access to care

Commentary: Expansion of Medicaid offers benefits far beyond improving access to care

By Dr. Georges Benjamin  |  July 25, 2015

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Social Security Act of 1965 establishing the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Much has been written about the future of Medicare; but Medicaid, now our largest public insurance program, has become a lightning rod for debate.

Anthem-Cigna merger poses promise and perils

Anthem-Cigna merger poses promise and perils

By Bob Herman  |  July 25, 2015

Anthem's announced $54.2 billion takeover of Cigna Corp. last week is the latest and largest sign of health insurers' lust for scale. But at the heart of the merger momentum is their desire to expand their government business, particularly in the lucrative Medicare Advantage market.

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